Nehemiah 3–5; Psalm 122; Acts 17–18

Rebuilding the Wall

Then bEliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests, and they built cthe Sheep Gate. They consecrated it and dset its doors. They consecrated it as far as the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the eTower of Hananel. And next to him fthe men of Jericho built. And next to them1 Zaccur the son of Imri built.

The sons of Hassenaah built gthe Fish Gate. hThey laid its beams and dset its doors, its bolts, and its bars. And next to them iMeremoth the son of Uriah, son of Hakkoz repaired. And next to them jMeshullam the son of Berechiah, son of Meshezabel repaired. And next to them Zadok the son of Baana repaired. And next to them kthe Tekoites repaired, but their nobles would not stoop to serve their Lord.2

Joiada the son of Paseah and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah lrepaired the Gate of Yeshanah.3 hThey laid its beams and dset its doors, its bolts, and its bars. And next to them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon and of Mizpah, the seat of mthe governor of the province Beyond the River. Next to them Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, goldsmiths, repaired. Next to him Hananiah, one of the perfumers, repaired, and they restored Jerusalem as far as nthe Broad Wall. Next to them Rephaiah the son of Hur, oruler of half the district of4 Jerusalem, repaired. 10 Next to them Jedaiah the son of Harumaph repaired opposite his house. And next to him Hattush the son of Hashabneiah repaired. 11 Malchijah the son of Harim and Hasshub the son of Pahath-moab repaired another section and pthe Tower of the Ovens. 12 Next to him Shallum the son of Hallohesh, qruler of half the district of Jerusalem, repaired, he and his daughters.

13 Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah repaired rthe Valley Gate. They rebuilt it and sset its doors, its bolts, and its bars, and repaired a thousand cubits5 of the wall, as far as tthe Dung Gate.

14 Malchijah the son of Rechab, ruler of the district of uBeth-haccherem, repaired tthe Dung Gate. He rebuilt it and sset its doors, its bolts, and its bars.

15 And Shallum the son of Col-hozeh, ruler of the district of Mizpah, repaired vthe Fountain Gate. He rebuilt it and covered it and sset its doors, its bolts, and its bars. And he built the wall of wthe Pool of Shelah of xthe king’s garden, as far as ythe stairs that go down from the city of David. 16 After him Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, ruler of half the district of Beth-zur, repaired to a point opposite zthe tombs of David, as far as athe artificial pool, and as far as the house of the mighty men. 17 After him the Levites repaired: Rehum the son of Bani. Next to him Hashabiah, ruler of half the district of Keilah, repaired for his district. 18 After him their brothers repaired: Bavvai the son of Henadad, ruler of half the district of Keilah. 19 Next to him Ezer the son of Jeshua, ruler of Mizpah, repaired another section opposite the ascent to the armory at bthe buttress.6 20 After him Baruch the son of Zabbai repaired7 another section from the buttress to the door of the house of cEliashib the high priest. 21 After him dMeremoth the son of Uriah, son of Hakkoz repaired another section from the door of the house of Eliashib to the end of the house of Eliashib. 22 After him the priests, the men of ethe surrounding area, repaired. 23 After them Benjamin and Hasshub repaired opposite their house. After them Azariah the son of Maaseiah, son of Ananiah repaired beside his own house. 24 After him Binnui the son of Henadad repaired another section, from the house of Azariah to the buttress and to fthe corner. 25 Palal the son of Uzai repaired opposite the buttress and the tower projecting from the upper house of the king at gthe court of the guard. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh 26 hand the temple servants living on iOphel repaired to a point opposite jthe Water Gate on the east and the projecting tower. 27 After him kthe Tekoites repaired another section opposite the great projecting tower as far as the wall of Ophel.

28 Above lthe Horse Gate the priests repaired, each one opposite his own house. 29 After them Zadok the son of Immer repaired opposite his own house. After him Shemaiah the son of Shecaniah, the keeper of the East Gate, repaired. 30 After him Hananiah the son of Shelemiah and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph repaired another section. After him mMeshullam the son of Berechiah repaired opposite nhis chamber. 31 After him Malchijah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired as far as the house of the temple servants and of the merchants, opposite the Muster Gate,8 and to the upper chamber of the corner. 32 And between the upper chamber of the corner and othe Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and the merchants repaired.

Opposition to the Work

9 Now when qSanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry and greatly enraged, and he jeered at the Jews. And he said in the presence of his brothers and of the army of rSamaria, What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they restore it for themselves?10 Will they sacrifice? Will they finish up in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, and burned ones at that? qTobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, Yes, what they are buildingsif a fox goes up on it he will break down their stone wall! tHear, O our God, for we are despised. uTurn back their taunt on their own heads and give them up to be plundered in a land where they are captives. vDo not cover their guilt, and let not their sin be blotted out from your sight, for they have provoked you to anger in the presence of the builders.

So we built the wall. And all the wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.

11 But when qSanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs and the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem was going forward and that the breaches were beginning to be closed, they were very angry. wAnd they all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it. And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.

10 In Judah it was said,12 The strength of those who bear the burdens is failing. There is too much rubble. By ourselves we will not be able to rebuild the wall. 11 And our enemies said, They will not know or see till we come among them and kill them and stop the work. 12 At that time the Jews who lived near them came from all directions and said to us ten times, You must return to us.13 13 So in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in open places, I stationed the people by their clans, with their swords, their spears, and their bows. 14 And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, xDo not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, ywho is great and awesome, zand fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.

The Work Resumes

15 When our enemies heard that it was known to us aand that God had frustrated their plan, we all returned to the wall, each to his work. 16 From that day on, half of my servants worked on construction, and half held the spears, shields, bows, and bcoats of mail. And the leaders stood behind the whole house of Judah, 17 who were building on the wall. Those who carried burdens were loaded in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and held his weapon with the other. 18 And each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built. The man who sounded the trumpet was beside me. 19 And I said to cthe nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, The work is great and widely spread, and we are separated on the wall, far from one another. 20 In the place where you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. dOur God will fight for us.

21 So we labored at the work, and half of them held the spears from the break of dawn until the stars came out. 22 I also said to the people at that time, Let every man and his servant pass the night within Jerusalem, that they may be a guard for us by night and may labor by day. 23 So neither I nor my brothers nor my servants nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us took off our clothes; eeach kept his weapon at his right hand.14

Nehemiah Stops Oppression of the Poor

Now there arose fa great outcry of the people and of their wives gagainst their Jewish brothers. For there were those who said, With our sons and our daughters, we are many. So let us get grain, that we may eat and keep alive. There were also those who said, We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards, and our houses to get grain because of the famine. And there were those who said, We have borrowed money for hthe king’s tax on our fields and our vineyards. Now iour flesh is as the flesh of our brothers, our children are as their children. Yet jwe are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have already been enslaved, but it is not in our power to help it, for other men have our fields and our vineyards.

I was very angry when I heard ftheir outcry and these words. I took counsel with myself, and I brought charges against the nobles and the officials. I said to them, kYou are exacting interest, each from his brother. And I held a great assembly against them and said to them, We, as far as we are able, lhave bought back our Jewish brothers who have been sold to the nations, but you even sell your brothers that they may be sold to us! They were silent and could not find a word to say. So I said, The thing that you are doing is not good. Ought you not to walk min the fear of our God nto prevent the taunts of the nations our enemies? 10 Moreover, I and my brothers and my servants are lending them money and grain. Let us abandon this exacting of interest. 11 Return to them this very day their fields, their vineyards, their olive orchards, and their houses, and the percentage of money, grain, wine, and oil that you have been exacting from them. 12 Then they said, We will restore these and orequire nothing from them. We will do as you say. And I called the priests and pmade them swear qto do as they had promised. 13 rI also shook out the fold15 of my garment and said, So may God shake out every man from his house and from his labor who does not keep this promise. So may he be shaken out and emptied. sAnd all the assembly said Amen and praised the Lord. And the people did as they had promised.

Nehemiah’s Generosity

14 Moreover, from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from tthe twentieth year to uthe thirty-second year of Artaxerxes the king, twelve years, vneither I nor my brothers ate the food allowance of the governor. 15 The former governors who were before me laid heavy burdens on the people and took from them for their daily ration16 forty shekels17 of silver. Even their servants lorded it over the people. But I did not do so, wbecause of the fear of God. 16 I also persevered in the work on this wall, and we acquired no land, and all my servants were gathered there for the work. 17 Moreover, there were xat my table 150 men, Jews and officials, besides those who came to us from the nations that were around us. 18 yNow what was prepared at my expense18 for each day was one ox and six choice sheep and birds, and every ten days all kinds of wine in abundance. Yet for all this vI did not demand the food allowance of the governor, because the service was too heavy on this people. 19 zRemember for my good, O my God, all that I have done for this people.


Let Us Go to the House of the Lord

A Song of mAscents. Of David.

122  I was glad when they said to me,

gLet us go to the house of the Lord!

Our feet have been standing

within your gates, O Jerusalem!

Jerusalemhbuilt as a city

that is ibound firmly together,

to which the tribes jgo up,

the tribes of the Lord,

as was kdecreed for1 Israel,

to give thanks to the name of the Lord.

There lthrones for judgment were set,

the thrones of the house of David.

mPray for the peace of Jerusalem!

May they be secure who love you!

Peace be within your nwalls

and security within your ntowers!

For my brothers and companions’ sake

I will say, oPeace be within you!

For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,

I will pseek your good.


Paul and Silas in Thessalonica

17 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to gThessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, has was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them ifrom the Scriptures, jexplaining and proving that it was necessary for kthe Christ to suffer and lto rise from the dead, and saying, This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ. And msome of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did na great many of the devout oGreeks and not a few of the leading women. pBut the Jews1 qwere jealous, and taking rsome wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. And when they could not find them, sthey dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against tthe decrees of Caesar, saying that there is uanother king, Jesus. And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things. And when they had taken money as security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.

Paul and Silas in Berea

10 vThe brothers2 immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they wwent into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, xexamining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 yMany of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek zwomen of high standing as well as men. 13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was proclaimed by Paul at Berea also, they came there too, aagitating and stirring up the crowds. 14 Then the brothers bimmediately sent Paul off on his way to the sea, but Silas and cTimothy remained there. 15 dThose who conducted Paul brought him as far as eAthens, and after receiving a command ffor Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they departed.

Paul in Athens

16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was gprovoked within him as he saw that the city was hfull of idols. 17 So ihe reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. 18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, jWhat does this babbler wish to say? Others said, He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinitiesbecause khe was preaching lJesus and the resurrection. 19 And they took him and brought him to mthe Areopagus, saying, May we know what this nnew teaching is that you are presenting? 20 For you bring some ostrange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean. 21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.

Paul Addresses the Areopagus

22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: pTo the unknown god. pWhat therefore you worship qas unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 rThe God who made the world and everything in it, being sLord of heaven and earth, tdoes not live in temples made by man,3 25 nor is he served by human hands, uas though he needed anything, since he himself vgives to all mankind wlife and breath and everything. 26 And xhe made from one man every nation of mankind to live yon all the face of the earth, zhaving determined allotted periods and athe boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 bthat they should seek God, cand perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. dYet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for

eIn him we live and move and have our being;4

as even some of fyour own poets have said,

For we are indeed his offspring.5

29 gBeing then God’s offspring, hwe ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 iThe times of ignorance jGod overlooked, but know he lcommands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed ma day on which nhe will judge the world oin righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and pof this he has given assurance to all qby raising him from the dead.

32 Now when they heard of rthe resurrection of the dead, ssome mocked. But others said, tWe will hear you again about this. 33 So Paul went out from their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius uthe Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.

Paul in Corinth

18 After this Paul6 left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a Jew named vAquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife vPriscilla, because wClaudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, and xbecause he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. And yhe reasoned in the synagogue yevery Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks.

zWhen Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul awas occupied with the word, btestifying to the Jews that the Christ was cJesus. And when they opposed and reviled him, dhe shook out his garments and said to them, eYour blood be on your own heads! fI am innocent. gFrom now on I will go to the Gentiles. And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius hJustus, ia worshiper of God. His house was next door to the synagogue. jCrispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together kwith his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized. And the Lord said to Paul lone night in ma vision, nDo not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, 10 nfor I am with you, and ono one will attack you to harm you, for pI have many in this city who are my people. 11 And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

12 But when Gallio was qproconsul of Achaia, rthe Jews7 made a united attack on Paul and sbrought him before the tribunal, 13 saying, This man is persuading people to worship God contrary to tthe law. 14 But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, If it were a matter of wrongdoing or vicious ucrime, O Jews, I would have reason to accept your complaint. 15 But vsince it is a matter of questions about words and names and wyour own law, see to it yourselves. I refuse to be a judge of these things. 16 And he drove them from the tribunal. 17 And they all seized Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to any of this.

Paul Returns to Antioch

18 After this, Paul stayed many days longer and then took leave of xthe brothers8 and set sail for Syria, and with him yPriscilla and Aquila. At zCenchreae ahe had cut his hair, for he was under a vow. 19 And they came to bEphesus, and he left them there, but che himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to stay for a longer period, he declined. 21 But on taking leave of them he said, I will return to you dif God wills, and he set sail from Ephesus.

22 When he had landed at Caesarea, he ewent up and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch. 23 After spending some time there, he departed and fwent from one place to the next through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, gstrengthening all the disciples.

Apollos Speaks Boldly in Ephesus

24 Now a Jew named hApollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, icompetent in the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in jthe way of the Lord. And kbeing fervent in spirit,9 he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only lthe baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when mPriscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him nthe way of God more accurately. 27 And when he wished to cross to oAchaia, pthe brothers encouraged him and qwrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, rhe greatly helped those who through grace had believed, 28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures sthat the Christ was Jesus.